As a student, what would be more exciting than having the WHRO Batten Environmental Van visit your school? How about the van AND a performance from the Virginia Stage Company? That’s exactly what area students experienced this past spring. As COVID restrictions were beginning to lift, WHRO collaborated with the Virginia Stage Company to create a companion show for the environmental van. The show, based on WHRO’s GreenBeats environmental animated musical series, is designed to reinforce the lessons developed by WHRO as part of the environmental van program.

The thirty-minute show follows Malia as she attempts to earn her green brigade badge and learn about caring for the environment. She and her friends sing and dance their way through the neighborhood to the melodies of GreenBeats songs like Good Bugs, Skip the Straw, and the always popular Scoop the Poop. Students are invited to clap and sing along as they learn about ways to take care of the environment.

The songs also serve as the central concept for the van’s grade level lessons. WHRO’s Digital Learning department created SOL-aligned classroom lessons and student interactivities based on the animated musical videos. These interactivities, loaded on student tablets and large screen computers that accompany the van, allow students to learn about and test their knowledge in areas such as conservation and recycling.

Based on the success of the spring launch, we are looking forward to a great fall season and many more positive comments like the ones from participants below.

"You were fantastic! Thank you! These children haven't been able to see live theatre in years!"

"The whole program was awesome. It was engaging for all students. My students were singing the song for a while and they loved the Scoop the Poop video!"

"The performance was informative and engaging for the children—they still talk about it. Additionally, the game on the tablets was great as well as the van itself."

Elmer Seward is the vice president of education services at WHRO Public Media. Learn more about our educational resources.